Hundreds of militants from the so-called Jaish al-Islam terror group have begun evacuation from their last holdout in the Eastern Ghouta enclave on the outskirts of the Syrian capital city of Damascus, a day after they reached a deal with the Syrian government troops under Russia’s mediation.
“A total of 448 Jaish al-Islam terrorists and their families left Douma prior to being transported to Jarabulus city,” which lies some 398 kilometers (248 miles) northeast of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Monday.
Syria’s state-run television network aired footage of eight buses leaving Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the center of Damascus. The buses were escorted by Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff.
Meanwhile, more than a thousand Faylaq al-Rahman (al-Rahman Legion) militants have withdrawn from Douma via a humanitarian corridor at Wafideen Camp toward militant-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.
An unnamed Syrian military source said that 1,146 terrorists along with members of their families left the area on Sunday evening aboard 24 buses.
Also on Monday, Syrian army networks uncovered underground two field hospitals and a network of tunnels dug underneath the recently recaptured town of Arbin, located 9 kilometers east of Damascus.
SANA reported that the hospitals were connected to each other by a tunnel extending for more than 400 meters.
The network of tunnels also extended for around three kilometers and connected Arbin to Ein Tarma, Jobar, and Zamalka. The tunnels were wide enough for cars to move easily.
Foreign-backed Takfiri militants in those four areas repeatedly attempted to infiltrate the capital and launched countless mortar shells on residential neighborhoods of Damascus.
Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus which is home to some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few months, with foreign-sponsored terrorists launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat.
Elsewhere in his article, Zarif warned that some countries were trying to take advantage of the Arab world "for settling their own scores and their greedy deeds" and reiterated that Iran; however, believed that its security and stability hinged on the "security and stability of the region, especially all its neighbors. This should be a priority for everyone."